Robotic Sample Preparation

There is NO fee for URI and RI-EPSCoR users to use the automated systems.

Wafergen Apollo 324 NGS Library Preparation System

The Apollo 324 is a benchtop system that automates next-generation sequence (NGS) library preparation workflows by using bead technology to execute high-performance isolation and purification of nucleic acids (DNA, RNA, plasmid and so on) and proteins.  The system automates end-repair, A-tail addition, adapter ligation and final double-bead-based cleanup and size selection.  The Apollo 324 enables simultaneous processing of one to eight samples, with batch processing for 32 samples at a time.  Up to eight samples can be prepared in approximately four hours, yielding products ready for amplification or direct sequencing, and a batch of 32 libraries can be created in less than eight hours.


  • Samples per run: 1–8 or 32
  • Throughput/day: 16 samples: 2 runs of 8 samples | 32 samples: 1 run of 32 samples
  • Run time: 1–8 samples: ~ 3.5 hours | 32 samples: ~ 7 hours
  • Setup time: 1–8 samples: ~ 15 minutes | 32 samples: ~ 1 hour
  • Temperature control: 2 Peltier-type blocks (4–95 °C), PID regulated
  • Magnetic capture: In-tip capture
  • Plate format: 96-well, SBS conforming

User supplied consumables:

  • PrepX library kit for DNA or RNA samples plus all reagents required in the protocol to be used.
  • Disposable pipet tips and piercing tips
  • Disposable tubes and 96-well plates used in procedure.

Eppendorf epMotion 5075 VAC Automated Pipetting System

The epMotion 5075 VAC automated pipetting workstation enables fast and reproducible liquid handling for a variety of applications.  The 5075 VAC system can pipette from single tubes, plates or reservoirs to 24- and 96-well plate formats as well as handling specified labware with a gripper tool.  Applications include dispensing from a supply (e.g., from a supply tub), transferring samples from individual tubes, dilution and mixing of samples and automation of the dispensing steps of diverse methods such as nucleic acid purification, PCR setup, cleanup of sequencing reactions, etc.  An integrated vacuum station can also be used for high throughput nucleic acid isolation and purification.


  • Workstation has 12 rack positions in 96-well standard plate formats
  • Maintenance-free piston-stroke dispensing system
  • Precise, reproducible dispensing from 1 µl to 1,000 µl
  • Automatic exchange of all tools (three volume ranges, single- or 8-channel)
  • Labware handling with gripper tool
  • Optical Sensor for high-precision and contact-free liquid level sensing as well as recognition of tips and labware
  • epBlue software package for generating and editing methods as well as printing and archiving program processes; the drag-and-drop interface is extremely easy to use and intuitive
  • Labware database with more than 300 validated entries can be used to individually compile the system configuration in relation to plates, tubes and liquid classes.
Example of the epMotion 5075 VAC worktable set up for Agencourt’s CleanSEQ SPRI method of dye terminator removal in sequencing reactions.

Validated applications:

  • Isolation of plasmid DNA.
  • Isolation of BAC-DNA.
  • Clean-up of PCR and sequencing products.
  • Isolation of genomic DNA.
  • Isolation of total RNA.

The epMotion 5075 system has a number of predefined methods in the software database.  Users may use any of these methods as a template to create their own instrument protocols.  All new methods should be fully tested and evaluated with water before use with costly reagents.

User supplied consumables:

  • All reagents for protocol to be used.
  • Eppendorf disposable pipet tips –  epTIPS: 1-50 µl (#0030014421) and 20-300 µl (#0030014464)
  • Disposable tubes and 96-well plates used in procedure.

Qiagen QIAcube

The QIAcube uses advanced technology to process QIAGEN spin columns, enabling seamless integration of automated, low-throughput sample prep into the laboratory workflow.  All processing steps are performed by the QIAcube — from sample lysis to elution of highly purified nucleic acids or proteins.  The QIAcube is preinstalled with protocols for purification of plasmid DNA, genomic DNA, RNA, viral nucleic acids, and proteins, plus DNA and RNA cleanup.


  • Capacity: up to 12 samples per run
  • Pipetting range:  5-900 µl
  • Shaker:  100-2,000 rpm; heating range, ambient temperature to 70° C
  • Centrifuge:  12,000 x g maximum; 12 rotor positions
  • Reagent bottle rack:  holds up to six 30 ml bottles
  • Optical & Ultrasonic sensors:  check samples, consumables and liquid loading for each protocol run.
Interior deck of the QIAcube

User supplied consumables:

  • Qiagen spin kit plus reagents.
  • Qiagen disposable filter tips – 200 µl & 1,000 µl (plus wide bore)
  • Qiagen disposable tubes and rotor adapters used in procedure.

The QIAcube is loaded with Qiagen protocols for the following methods:

  • CleanupEpiTect Bisulfite; QIAquick Gel; QIAquick PCR
  • DNAQIAprep Mini Prep; DNeasy Blood & Tissue; QIAamp DNA Blood Mini
  • RNARNeasy MiniRNeasy Protect Bacteria Mini
  • VirusQIAamp Mini Elute Spin
  • ProteinNi-NTA Spin; Qproteome Albumin/IgG; Qproteome Murine Albumin 

A Standard Operating Procedure for the QIAcube may be found under the Procedures menu.

QIAGEN TissueLyser

QIAGEN’s TissueLyser provides rapid and efficient disruption of cells and tissues.  Processing of up to 2 x 96 samples takes as little as 2–4 minutes.  Disruption is achieved through the beating and grinding effect of beads on the sample material as they are shaken with the sample in a variety of grinding vessels.  The optimized design of TissueLyser Adapter Sets ensures that tubes remain securely sealed during disruption. This prevents cross-contamination, which is especially important for highly sensitive downstream applications, such as qPCR or microarray analysis.

New users of the robotic instruments must participate in a training session to prevent damage to this equipment.  Please call the GSC Manager to set up an appointment.

To make a reservation, please use the GSC Calendar.  If you have any questions or problems, call the GSC manager at 874-5919.